PBA: Ricci Rivero, Jamike Jarin relish reunion at Phoenix
MANILA, Philippines—Chemistry won’t be an issue between Ricci Rivero and his new team Phoenix Fuel Masters.
Rivero may be just a rookie but adjusting to fit in with the Fuel Masters has been seamless due to his familiarity with coach Jamike Jarin, whom he described as the team’s “second dad.”
“We all know coach Jamike. For me, he’s a players coach, second dad to us and he really maximizes our time before and after training to really get to know each other,” said Rivero in Filipino on Tuesday during the PBA Media Day at One Esplanade in Pasay City.
“Our bonding as a team is like family time at this point,” added the 25-year-old guard, who was selected by the Fuel Masters in the second round of last month’s draft.
The two go all the way back to their days with Batang Gilas when Rivero was only 16 years old.
“When he was 16, he played with us in Batang Gilas and his dad helped me out there and I’m very excited we got reunited here in the PBA. It’s very exciting for us, very exciting for Ricci and very exciting for all PBA fans,” said Jarin.
“You’d be surprised at how much he’s matured and how much he’s developed more of his game,” he added.
They also found themselves on opposing sides in the UAAP when Rivero was still with the La Salle Green Archers and Jarin was at National University’s helm.
When Rivero transferred to University of the Philippines, he continued to cross paths with Jarin, who was then an assistant coach at University of the East.
Seeing Rivero’s development throughout the years, Jarin has no doubt that Rivero has what it takes to be a future star in the PBA.
“I think, with the way he’s playing and the rate he’s going, he’s going to be one of the best players in the coming PBA.”